Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Rodak's Writings: Marriage and Loss

I am currently a bit less than half-way through Richard Powers' novel, Orfeo.  The following few lines, found on p. 54, generated by the musings of the protagonist, musical composer and amateur gene-splicer, Peter Els, for some reason hit me hard:

"The book on his nightstand opened to where he'd left off the night before. He stopped each evening at the top of the left-hand page, the end of the first paragraph--one of a thousand foolish, useful habits Madolyn had taught him. His wife as still so present in his habits that he couldn't believe they'd been apart now for four times longer than they'd been together."

That habit of ending a reading session as the excerpt describes is a habit I share. I did not pick it up from any of my three wives, nor have I been apart from any but, perhaps, the second, as much as four times longer than we were together. Nonetheless, there are many habits I still possess--or which possess me--that I've picked up from each of them. So, they are all still very much present, and I suppose, they always will be.

These lines in Powers' book, which set me to thinking about my wives, is also what gave birth, I'm quite certain, to the following poem, my most recent:


She sits somewhere, I suppose,
getting all gooey with lust
for her new found freedom.

Here, where I stay,
the juice has run dry.
I coo at the cat and think
about having some light lunch.

Afraid now of shop clerks
and parking lot crowds,
I sit folded within,
pinned down and pithed
by the pointed thrust
of resignation’s dull bliss.

In an unguarded moment
I may I catch myself feeling
with my thumb
for the ring that’s not there.

Isn't it funny how life and art work together at times?